New World Little Gardens

borage pattern2
borage2

Starflower

Borago officinalis

Limited edition Starflower (Borage)

Bring a spot of the Mediterranean to your garden with this delicious flowering herb. It’ll grow almost anywhere, self-seeds readily, and will attract bees and other pollinators with its star-shaped flowers.

Thanks! By collecting the Little Garden Starflower you’ve helped to raise $150,000 for the Starship Foundation.

At New World we love to support our communities and the families that shop with us each week and that’s why we’re proud to be a five star partner of The Starship Foundation. Your donation to the Starship Foundation will help fund special projects like the national Feeding Clinic that helps treat kids with eating difficulties. 

The Starship Foundation is a social-profit organisation that raises funds so Starship Children’s Health, New Zealand’s only national children’s hospital, can better care for the nearly 120,000 visits each year from its young patients. Find out more about how New World funding helps the Starship Foundation here.

 

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Getting started

  • Put the soil tablet on a saucer and pour 50ml of water over it.
  • Put on gloves and mix the water into the soil with your hands to make a wet mixture. Watch the soil expand.
  • Use most of your soil to fill up the pot to around 2cm below the top.
  • Now place your seed mat on top of the soil (take care not to press down too hard).
  • Now use the rest of your soil mixture to cover the seed mat.
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done.

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the pot on a clean saucer in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun.
  • Check the soil in the morning, and before bed. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.
  • Within 1 week you should see a little plant appear from the soil. That means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into a bigger pot or garden.
  • If more than one little plant grows, choose the strongest-looking one and remove the others.

When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • When your starflower is about as tall as your finger (in about 3 weeks), it’s ready to shift into the garden or pot
  • Get your starflower used to life outside: put it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night. Do this for 4-5 days, leaving it outside for a little longer each day before you shift it out into the garden forever

Planting best practice

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • Bees and pollinators love starflowers, so plant it in the corners of your garden to attract the good bugs
  • The star-shaped blooms will look great in your flower beds too

Harvest time

  • Young leaves are delicious in salads or cooked like spinach. Pick them before the flowers appear, before they become hairy and tough (and that is not tasty)
  • The flowers are edible too! Pop them in salads, freeze them in ice cubes or dip in egg white and caster sugar and use to decorate cupcakes 

Watch out

  • Borage is almost untroubled by pests and diseases
  • It self-seeds very quickly, so can become a nuisance. To manage it, you can simply pull out the seedlings. Or, after they flower (but before they set seed), cut down the plants at the base and dig them into the soil as a green manure or throw them into your compost 
  • The hairy leaves may cause skin irritation in some people, so wear gloves when handling the plants

Starflower in your gardens